Monday, April 25, 2016

Movie Monday: The Barkley Marathons

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

Now stop thinking what you did is that hard, you candyass.  You haven't experienced anything until you've done the Barkley Marathons.

Devised three decades ago and inspired by a prison break in which an inmate only covered eight miles across rugged Tennessee mountains in 55 hours, the Barkley Marathons is a race designed to make you suffer.

Over 100 miles.  60 hour time limit.  No aid stations.  No GPS.  Checkpoints consist of tearing pages from books strategically placed along the course.  The registration process is a secret, and while the start day is given, no one knows the start time until the race director blows a conch shell an hour beforehand.

In thirty years, only 14 runners have ever finished.

In 2012, a film crew captured the insanity that is the Barkley Marathons in a documentary, which is currently streaming on Netflix.  I made the mistake of turning it on the other night just before going to bed, expecting to only watch a few minutes of it.  Instead I stayed up way too late to finish it, and then I could barely sleep because I kept thinking about it all night.

The film, and the race itself, show just what people will do in the name of escaping boredom and doing something meaningful with their lives.  That of course means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but to these unfortunate few, it means nearly killing themselves in the backwoods of Tennessee just to say they did it.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the 6 minute trailer for the film:

Now get out and do something painful, you candyass.


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